‘Gul Makai’ Malala biopic shoot creates buzz in Sonamarg

A biopic based on Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is currently being shot in Sonamarg on the Kashmir-Ladakh axis after the makers discovered that the area resembled the Swat valley known as the ‘Switzerland of Pakistan’.
The film shooting has created a buzz in the area in the winter months as more than 700 locals have been engaged in its production in sub-zero temperatures. Even as well-known teenaged actor Reem Shaikh is playing the role of Malala, who had shot to fame after surviving a Taliban attack, more than 20 locals have already found roles in the film.
“We chose a village and adjoining areas of Kangan in Sonamarg for the shooting of the film titled, ‘Gul Makai’, because it resembles the Swat valley which is known for its picturesque locations. While well-known Bollywood actors are shooting for the film, around 20-22 local artistes managed to bag decent roles because of their looks (resemblance to the people of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber province). We are casting a dozen more local actors,” line producer Azad Shah told Kashmir Post.
“We have been shooting from January 4. As we needed crowd, we engaged about 700 to 800 locals for the film. For the actors from Mumbai, it was a different experience as they shot in -16°C for the first time,” he added. The film is being directed by Amjad Khan, best known for his film ‘Le Gaya Saddam’.
“Initially, the crew wanted to shoot in Manali but I convinced them to shoot in Kashmir as I belong to this place. The crew is now happy that we are shooting here. This will encourage others to shoot here and it will give a boost to tourism as well,” said Shah, who is also playing the role of a Pakistani general in the film.

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